Footprints daily reflection: Palm Sunday 14 April

Wave your flag.

Author: Bishop Pat Storey

Journey through Lent with daily Footprints, Christian Aid Ireland's reflections

Bible reading

As he was now approaching the path down from the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to praise God joyfully with a loud voice for all the deeds of power that they had seen.

Luke 19:37

Reflection

Palm Sunday is a Flag Day. It was the occasion in the history of the short human life of Jesus where everyone waved his flag. How tempting it must have been to freeze that moment, particularly when Jesus knew what was ahead.

As he rides into Jerusalem with people lining the route waving palms, I am sure he wanted to take a moment. I am sure he could have been swayed into cynicism, knowing what he knew. I am sure he had to prepare himself for disappointment in people.

Does that all sound familiar? We set our heroes on a pedestal only to find later down the road that they are just as human as us. We rely heavily on a friend only to have them disappoint. Or we are the ones who wave a flag for someone and then get waylaid and distracted by other things.

Are we diligent in searching out and supporting the heroes of today? Palm Sunday reminds me that we are all fragile flag-wavers. We so want to do the right thing and to make the world a better place. Yet we can be genuinely hopeful, as we wave a flag for the injustices of our society, that it makes a difference. Politicians do listen. Laws change. The world tilts on its axis in a better direction.

The challenge is not to give up waving that flag. Our loyalty and commitment is needed even when we get tired, cynical or disappointed. As we look at the world and at the difference that Christians make to it for the better, let’s be full of hope as we strive to make this world one worth living in. On this Palm Sunday – whatever injustice you are passionate about - don’t get weary of waving your flag!

Prayer

Lord God,

I am sorry that I am so tempted to be a flag-waver

when it suits me.

Give me a pliable and obedient heart

that is open to your care for those who dwell

on the fringes of society and feel abandoned.

Soften my hard heart and put a flag in my hand.

May we be the ones in the front row,

standing on the dusty street,

waving a flag for those whom you have

not forgotten nor abandoned,

Through Jesus Christ our Lord,

Amen

Bio

Pat Storey is Church of Ireland Bishop of Meath and Kildare. She came to faith whilst reading the Scriptures and still loves and is immensely challenged by the word of God. She has immense hope for the future of the church and believes God is in control. Pat is married to Earl and has two grown-up children, Carolyn and Luke, and a grandson, Isaac. In her spare time, she writes fiction, swims, walks her golden retriever and enjoys food!